Los Angeles welcomes its newest addition, a female baby mountain lion kitten. The baby lion, simply named P-54, resides in the Santa Monica Mountains and is believed to be born from inbreeding.
“Unfortunately, these animals are stuck on an island of habitat, with very little movement in and out of the Santa Monica Mountains, which has led to multiple cases of inbreeding,” said biologist, Jeff Sikich.
Researchers believe that the mother, P-23 mated with her half-sibling, P-30 and that P-23 may have had more than one kitten.
In order to see for certain if P-23 had more than one, Ranger Kate Kuykendall said, “We are planning on placing cameras on a deer kill of the mom’s and trying to get photos later to see how many kittens she has with her.”
P-23 has faced some trauma in the past when four of her kittens were killed by other predators in 2015. Luckily, a sibling of the dead kittens survived.
The mother of P-54 has had two previous litters and if genetic test results show that P-30 is the father, then it would be his very first litter.
See the full story on the LATIMES.COM.